Sign In Forgot Password


03/25/2020 05:56:26 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Miller

On Being Unessential

I learned this week that Gov. Cuomo and the Chief Judge of New York’s highest court do not consider me essential.  That makes me 0 for 2 in baseball lingo.

My wife, having been declared "very essential" by her agency, has been rather sweet about it.  Perhaps she is concerned that my male-ego is bruised.  I assure you it is not! Being the modern man that I am, I am not the least surprised or disappointed with my demotion.  Or her promotion.  My self-esteem remains as healthy and vibrant as when I thought that I was essential.  

The difference, by the way, between being essential and being essential with an adverb before it, is that Enid still gets paid whereas the merely essential employees in her office, those missing the very important "very," are also missing their pay checks.  For the time being only, they’ve been told.  That sounds like a very big deal to me.

And my wife, bless her, has not rubbed it in.  There has been no abrupt shift in the carefully calibrated dynamic of our marriage.  Most importantly, I still get to hold the remote at night, which means that I am in charge of (i) lowering the volume on the TV when she tells me to and (ii) changing the channel when she joins me on the sofa.  In my house, at lease, "remote control" is not so much a compound word as it is an oxymoron.  I hold the remote and she controls the settings.  She is the oxy and I am the moron. 

One thing about this “new normal” rankles me, though.  Enid has recently staked a claim to my MacBook.  She sits at the dining room table all day and tele-psycho-therapizes via Skype, Zoom, Duo and Facetime. She chooses the portal carefully, just like she does her shoes.  

I have two pairs of shoes; Enid has ... a whole lot more.  Of course, that too is my fault.  We made a deal 20 years ago:  For every ticket I get, she gets new shoes.   It’s worked for us and Jildor alike. 

I admit that I do not need my computer during the day because, non-essential notwithstanding, I still go to my office every day.  But that is not the point. Yes, we share (most) everything, but until Covid19, she never once used the home computer.  I now find that the carefully placed coffee stains on the letters "Q" and "G" have been wiped clean. 

Thank God I clean my own browser history.


By: Rabbi Jeffrey Miller

Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782